March 18, 2009
Colley Field – Manchester came to Henrico with expectations that it will be one of the best teams in the Central Region. It left with that distinction in tact as the “Lancers” downed the Warriors 12-4.
“Perhaps my hopes were much higher than our ability to be ready when I set the 2009 schedule,” said Henrico head coach Ken Schrad. “I believe that you get better by playing the best. We are certainly getting a heavy dose of that with Patrick Henry last week and Manchester and Cosby this week,” he added. “We’re improving and that’s what we need to see.”
With weather affecting the start of the season, Manchester (1-0) was anxious to play. It was obvious by the way the Lancers jumped on a Henrico (0-2) miscue in right field. That misplay of a twisting pop fly started a four run first inning off of “Warrior” starter Paul Bateera.
“We’ve got to help our pitchers and stop giving away outs,” said Schrad. “We’re not yet good enough to get out of those self-made jams.”
Bateera took out his frustration at the plate. Leading off the bottom of the first, he hit the first pitch he saw out of the park to make it 4-1. Henrico got another run in the bottom of the second. A couple of defensive lapses by Manchester allowed Jordan Doggett to reach base, advance, and then score on Bateera’s sacrifice fly.
In the top of the third, Manchester put up three more runs after Henrico had recorded two outs. Doubles by Blake Hauser and Logan Toney were the damaging blows. But, Henrico was hurt most when its infield defense was simply too slow to get what should have been a routine force out on a weakly hit ground ball. Make the play, and the inning is over before any runs score.
Henrico closed to 7-4 with two runs in the bottom of the third. Andrew Props’ double started things off. He scored on a wild pitch. Cody Spain scored on Kyle Logan’s ground out to the right side of the infield.
Manchester put up another big number if the fifth inning off of reliever Landon Prentiss. Infield hits, a walk, and an error led to disaster. With the bases loaded, two runs scored on what should have been a force play at home. But, a double-clutch throw was way wide of the mark. Chris Ayers then followed with a three-run home run to drive a spear through any “Warrior” aspirations of a come back.
There was no further scoring. Spain and Nick Toombs each pitched a scoreless inning for Henrico. Allen McFarlane, Zack Massey and Brandon Creech did the same for Manchester.